In honor of March being Women’s History Month, it feels only right to share a list of a few women who have inspired change for the better throughout history.
These are inspirational, strong women who have used their talents, voices, and efforts to incite changes to societal behaviors and beliefs. Many of these women have shattered glass ceilings, advocated for racial or gender equality, or have used their skills to make this world a better place.
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony was a notorious women’s rights activist who played a major role in the women’s suffrage movement. Her involvement and activism, along with many other women, led to the 19th amendment, which gives women the right to vote.
Helen Keller was an American author, activist, and speaker. She was also the first deaf and blind person to earn a college degree. She was a living example that not even disabilities can stop you from achieving your goals!
We have all heard the infamous story of Rosa Parks and when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama. She knew the consequences of this, but it didn’t stop her. Her courageous act influenced a pivotal point in the civil rights movement.
Rose McGowan is an American actress and activist. She spoke out against her sexual abuser, Harvey Weinstein, which sparked several other women to share their similar experiences. Her actions guided the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
As a result of the “Brown v. Board of Education” supreme court case, Elizabeth Eckford was one of the first black students to attend an all-white school. Her courage to attend an all-white school during this time period led to further racial integration within the education system.
Barbara Jordan was the first African American woman to be elected into the United States House of Representatives in 1972.
Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon in 1967. During this time marathon rules didn’t allow men and women to compete in the same race, but this didn’t stop Kathrine. Race officials attempted to stop her from competing, but she kept running. Thanks to actions like this, women were officially allowed to race in the marathon in 1972.
Indira Gandhi was the first, and remains to this day is the only, woman to serve as the Prime Minister of India. She served a total of four terms during her time as Prime Minister until she was tragically assassinated in 1984.
Sandra Day O’Connor
Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. She held her Supreme Court position from 1981-2006. She oversaw many well-known cases throughout her career, including “Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Behind Sandra Day O’Connor, was Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ruth was the second female justice to be appointed to the Supreme Court. She fought against gender discrimination throughout her entire career until her recent death in September 2020.
Malala Yousafzai is a human rights activist and the youngest person ever to receive The Nobel Peace Prize. The Taliban attempted to assassinate her when she was 15. She survived and continues the fight for women’s rights and education.
Before we had literary activists like Amanda Gorman, there was Maya Angelou. She was an activist and poet who used her literature to express racism and the need for equality for all. She fought alongside civil rights leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
Margaret Sanger contributed much to the future of women’s reproductive health in America. Terms like “birth control” likely wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for her. She was a nurse and sex educator who founded what would become the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
To this day Harriet Tubman is recognized as an American hero for her contributions and efforts as one of the main leaders of the Underground Railroad. Born as a slave, Harriet made multiple trips to the South to help escort many enslaved people to freedom.
If you’ve taken anything away from reading this post, I hope it’s that there are simply no limits to what women can achieve!
This list of empowering women who have inspired change could honestly go on and on because there are so many inspirational women. Women are making a difference in this world every single day and I hope this list continues to grow for years to come.